We both love staycations. Blame it on mundane work life – we like to take an off occasionally and just check-in. Depending on the budget, we decide on the location and the resort. Like this time around, we had less time at hand and we desire the utmost luxury with our time and money limitations! Radisson Alibaug was the obvious choice as we could just drive down from Pune in 3 hours (including a 30 mins break at Sri Dutta snacks on Mumbai-Pune expressway; I mean how can one not stop over at this place. I can write a separate section dedicated only to how awesome this place is. Poha, Misal Pav, Vada Pav and all Maharashtrian specialties, name it and you get it!) Coming back to the point, one could save on the flight expenses this place being only a few kms away and Radisson could give us affordable luxury; so we started with the booking process.
While planning a vacation, we usually divide the tasks, bookings and itinerary planning usually going in to husband’s task list and I do the research on the places to visit, things to do, local cuisines etc. For Alibaug there was not much of planning required, one because we were visiting during the monsoon and two because all we wanted was to stretch our limbs in the resort itself. Husband smartly delegated the booking task to me, which was all that was needed to finalize this trip.
Online the prices were showing almost the same on all websites barring Makemytrip, which was 10-15% lower. I called up resort to do a final check on the prices and to get an idea of which category room would suit our liking. Prices quoted by resort were higher than the online prices and they suggested that we do the booking online (eh!?). Resort has three category rooms – Superior, Deluxe and Executive. Superior rooms have property view; deluxe rooms are bigger than superior rooms and have hill view and executive suits has an attached patio and has the pool view with private entry to the pool. All the three categories have an attached balcony. Besides these rooms, they also have Villas, which looked massive and well suited for large families. We booked the deluxe room from Makemytrip and set out for our 3-hour journey.
Drive from Pune
We took the expressway and exited at Khalapur Toll, then took the Pen Road from where the road goes straight to Alibaug. Pen road is very disappointing in various patches. More so because we visited in monsoon but few friends had similar experience even in other months. Be prepared for a rough drive for approx. 20-25 kms.
First Look of Resort
Huge majestic gates mark the entrance of the resort, well-behaved security to welcome you to the property. The reception desk was disappointing as the folks were quite slow with check-in process. The resort looked like a fort, grand and majestic. There is a huge veranda in the center of the resort and the veranda is flanked by rooms and restaurant. The swimming pool is huge and has a bar area attached to it. Pool is well maintained and very clean. The property is huge, like huge would be an understatement. It has huge, well-manicured gardens, lot of Instagram worthy corners, huge outdoor play area, indoor play area, a dedicated building for spa only, another one with gym and library. This place is a good chill for large groups and couples alike.
Our room (Deluxe category) was so well lit, one of the key things that we lookout. Huge rooms with spacious sit-out with a view to the hills surrounding the property and entrance gate of the resort. What needs a special mention is the bathroom, which was spectacular and so luxurious. Bathrooms are grand with a huge bathtub, but what needs a special mention here is the overhead shower area, which is one of the best we have seen in any of the resorts we have visited till date. Wont give out further on the room now, you have to visit it to feel the grandiose.
The resort has two restaurants – ‘Aparanta’, which is a multi-cuisine restaurant, ‘Kokum, and Spice’, which is a Mangalorean / Goan restaurant. TBH, food was a let down from both the restaurants. Expect breakfast buffet, which was still decent, food was a disappointment. I even spoke to the Food and Beverage in-charge, on how the basic items like club sandwiches and Pakoras were not done well. There were also incidences of other guests getting furious, as the service (esp. during dinner) was pathetically slow. The resort has two bar areas and a piano section. Pianist is a delight to listen to every evening.
What we loved
We loved the serenity of the resort; it was calm yet not dull. The pool was an interesting highlight with bar section and bar seats in the pool. I loved the ‘Escenza’ Spa, which absolutely rejuvenated me with its unique massages. We loved the morning sun hitting right on our bed, so salubrious and goodful. And we absolutely loved how thoughtfully designed the bathrooms were.
What did not go as expected
Food. Big letdown.
Amazing stay. Exactly what we wanted except the food. Might sound like am ranting over food but the resort really needs to work on their food. Staff is very friendly and helpful, just like one would expect from Radisson brand. The location is so ideal for a weekend short stay for folks coming in from Mumbai and Pune.